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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 25, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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great have you with us tonight, michael, thank you so much. msnbc political analyst michael eric dyson. tonight in our survey iasked you, do you trust rick perry to run the government? 4% of you said, yes. 96% of you said, no. and that was based on all of the information that you've been given so far on rick perry. that's "thed show." i'm ed schultz. "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts right now. good evening. i'm ron reagan in tonight for chris matthews. leading off tonight, the eye of the storm. hurricane irene is heading up the east coast and is likely to be non-partisan. hitting democratic and republican districts alike. my question tonight -- after the damage is done, are republicans going to reject federal aid because the u.s. has
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a spending problem? or are they going say no to fema, because government is the problem, not the solution? what happens when ideology collides with reality? plus, look who's talking. former v.p. dick cheney has a new book out, as he puts it, there are going to be heads exploding all over washington. oh, dick. among other things, cheney goes after colin powell again, after condoleezza rice, again, and rights he thought it would be a good idea to bomb a nuclear plant in syria. regrets? he seems to have nun in respect may be controversy over how good rick perry's economic record is. we can agree he's number one in one area. executions. 234 in 11 years. that's more than the next two states combined, since 1976. true, texas is big, but as perry wrote in his book, if you don't support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don't come to texas. and the sarah palin-karl rove smackdown goes another round.
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rove says palin has an enormous thick skin. gets upset if you speculate about her and if you don't. finally, both sides now. mitt romney weighs in on both sides of two more issue, that's in the "sideshow." we start with the latest on hurricane irene. for that we go to the weather channel. i'm charl parker at the weather channel. we have a life threatening event. this storm will be devastating for many people. let's take a look at particulars. category 3 storm, 115 mile-an-hour wind.
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moving north northwest. looks like it may be getting better organized. an eye wall showing up there. may become more intense in the next day or so. probably category 3 as it approaches the carolina coast. moving into north carolina, getting into saturday. possibly category 2, undergoing
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>> governors, senators, congressmen, governor chris christie's office told us they asked for funds in the past and will do so again. the others haven't gotten back to us, or said it's too early to say. welcome governors. governor o'malley, if the worst should happen in maryland and federal disaster relief?
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>> absolutely. there are only some things we can do effectively when we did them together. one of those is protecting lives and property from monster hurricanes like this one. hurricane irene that's bearing down on us, and you know, ron, in closed doors, all governors, regardless of party, will all tell you that fema's operations have been greatly improved in recent years, and it's something that all americans, i think, should take pride in. that there are professional people now in charge at fema who are on top of these things and doing their very best, even with the extreme weather conditions that we're facing as a nation. >> is the fact that most states are simply incapable of handling a major natural disaster like this, is that the reality? >> well, you know, you say
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incapable. i mean, all of us -- all of us gear up to -- to handle things in the normal course of business, but had things become outside of that norm, when you have monster hurricanes or earthquakes or monster tornadoes, well, that's when we do expect that our federal strength will come forward. you know, we're stronger together as a nation. we're stronger together as a country. and that's why we do call upon our federal government for support to protect americans with our borders when the situations or these sorts of natural disasters overwhelm the normal level of funding that all of us support in state and local governments. >> governor rendell, or i can call you ed, because you're no longer a governor. >> absolutely. >> many republicans governors have jumped on the gop bandwagon about federal spending is a problem. i don't want any federal money coming here. does all that go out the window when the roof starts blowing off the house? >> well, it should.
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first and foremost, the governor's responsibility is to the people of the state, and as governors we can do preparedness, we can do response, we can use the national guard, use the state police. in pennsylvania when i was governor, we were very effective in dealing with natural disasters, but when it comes to helping people get back on their feet, businesses, home, homeowners obliterated by natural disaster. state and local funding is available that happen to match the federal fund but no feasible way to do it without federal funding. these governors ought to be accepting funding and put ideology aside. i'd like to, ron, focus on a comment governor perry said in his announcement speech when he was announcing his candidacy. he said, i promise you, i will do everything in my power, every day, to make the federal government as inconsequential in your lives as possible. >> yeah. go ahead -- that sounds nice on
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a sunny day. >> absolutely. >> but -- >> i have a question for governor perry. if he were the governor of virginia and a small business owner saw his factory ripped asunder and the only way we could come close giving him the money to build it back up would be federal funds, do you they small business owner wants the federal government to be as inconsequential in his life as possible? no way. >> you've got to wonder. >> no way. >> yeah. governor o'malley, i'll call you governor o'malley because you're still governor. eric cantor, republican, majority leader, his office released a statement saying the majority leader consistently says additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts. so, in other words, i guess if your house is blown away you've got to give up more yesterday up your medicare. does that make any sense to you? >> it doesn't make any sense.
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this is no time for ideology. we have a killer hurricane bearing down on the popular areas of the east coast. the effective governance really matters most when people's lives are in jeopardy. and that's what's happening right now. this is not a time for ideology. we need to all come together, weather this hurricane and rebuild after it, and we need to protect people's lives. and this sort of ideological obsession i really think has no place right now. we need to be focused on getting people out of the path of this hurricane and weathering this thing as safely as we can. >> uh-huh. i don't know the answer to this question, and it just occurred to me. we were talking about governor perry earlier. they've had quite a drought down there in texas for some time now, which i guess probably does amount to a natural disaster. has governor perry taken any federal money to hand that? does anybody know? >> well, they all do.
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they all do and then beat their chests and say this was horrible. this was awful, and big spending in washington and -- the truth ever the matter is, ron, there's not a state capitol governed by either a democratic or republican governor that would be standing right now were it not for president obama's courage in passing the recovery and reinvestment act. that is what has allowed us to provide essential services and public health and public safety and public education, and you know, that's why i believe we should have a federal government. we're stronger together. and we need to act together and act like a nation especially when we're under threat or digging out of a deep recession. >> and, ed, federal disaster relief is not some newfangled idea that president obama has come up with. is it? >> no. >> it's been around a while. >> and used by republican presidents and democrat presidents alike. you know, the hypocrisy on this stuff and what martin pointed out about letting ideology
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infect us is usually not done by governors. but best shown on stimulus. not one house member, republican house member voted for the president's stimulus bill. only three republican senators did. did that stop republican senators and republican house members from showing up at groundbreakings for bridge repair or a road repair or a new construction? that was paid for by stimulus? not on your life. they were there smiling from ear to ear. so it's hypocrisy run wild. >> do you suppose, if the republican candidates that i'm aware of, of course, talking about no federal spending, cut spending and all that. if we did have a republican president next term and some disaster struck somewhere in the united states as it almost surely would, do you think that that republican president would deny federal funds to that state?
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>> of course not. as president, again, you have to govern. it's a little different than like representative cantor's office did. by the way, everyone tells me he's such a bright guy. that was a dumb statement. good lord. >> yeah. pretty much defines tone deaf. doesn't it? >> can you imagine saying, okay, virginia i can't give you disaster relief until congress cuts equal a funding from the federal budget. that will work. >> joplin, missouri i guess he's sticking to his guns. we'll have to leave it there. hope you guys stay dry and stay safe there on the east coast. >> let's pray that that hurricane veers out to sea. >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> thank you. governor ed o'malley and former governor ed rendell. settles scores, dick cheney, a new book that will make a lot of people angry. does he express regret? what do you think? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
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economy dimmed this summer. look at this new associated press poll out today. more americans 51% say that george w. bush is mostly to blame for the down economy. while 31% say it's obama's fault. in this poll at least the number of people who say president obama deserves to be re-elected has held steady. maybe that means we'll see a little more of bush-blaming from the president in the campaign. we'll be right back.
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this book is going to make a lot of people angry. >> there will be heads exploding all the way in washington. >> you knee? >> yes. >> welcome back to "hardball." vice president cheney certainly knows how to hype a book. his autobiography "in my time: a personal and political memoir" is due out next week and based on early reports, it looks like the former vice president is
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unrepentant. joining me, he's seen the book and reported on it in today's paper. hi, charlie. >> thanks for having me on. >> somehow my advanced copy never arrived. so i don't know what that was all about, but i haven't read the book, but you have. what sort of portrait does dick cheney paint of himself in this book? >> having speed read the book in the last 24 hours, at one level, a pretty scared washington memoir, a liberal, a certain familiarity. the author right about everything. brilliant. when they disagreed, fools. that's certainly true of this when they disagreed, fools. that's certainly true of this book, but dick cheney is no ordinary washington politician. he is a genuine world historical figure who's had one of the most remarkable careers ever in washington starting with being chief of staff to gerald ford, a major republican congressman in the '80s, secretary of defense
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during the first gulf war, and the most influential vice president in history. and so he was an eyewitness to really an extraordinary panorama of american history and his book is far more interesting than most washington memoirs for that reason. >> i gather he portrays himself more or less as the guy in charge on 9/11? >> well, he was the guy in charge on 9/11. there's just no doubt about that. president bush was away from washington. there were communication problems, even keeping in touch with what was happening. dick cheney was in the command bunker under the white house and he was the one telling the government what to do. managing that crisis that day. and from the days that followed, drawing on his deep experience in national security matters, he was the chief architect of the bush administrational response to 9/11, whether that was open warfare or the intelligence system, whether that was asking the questions and pushing for
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what led to the surveillance program, which he takes credit for here or what he calls the enhanced interrogation program which led to the huge dispute over torture when they came to light. >> i'm quoting, in discussing the must disputed 16 words about iraq's supposed hunt for uranium in niger, mr. cheney said unlike other aides he sat knoll. ms. rice eventually came around to his view, she came into my office and tearfully admitted i had been right. condoleezza rice isn't going to be happy reading that. is she? >> i think she has her own memoir scheduled for the pipeline. we'll see whether -- >> she can have her memory.
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>> whether she cried that he was right about everything. we will to cram a lot of nuggets into that brief space. what cheney was talking about in, the british really did think saddam was pursuing uranium in africa. so the sentence was technically correct and by apologizing for it, em flaming the controversy which he said did happen once the white house admitted it had been wrong to include those words in the speech. he was making a tactical viewpoint, not to publicly apologize compared to what surrounded it. >> i'm sure my copy will be landing on my doorstep right from the vice president's office. thank you, in the meantime with me, "chicago tribune" columnist. welcome. >> i'm waiting for my copy to arrive, too. >> somehow we're off the list. i don't know what's happening here, clarence. >> that must be it.
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is this sort of vintage dick cheney? the dick cheney we know and love, do you suppose? >> so familiar. wasn't it? keeping track of what the highly placed leakers were saying all along in the bush administration. this will not strike anybody as blockbuster news. it tends to be confirmation on dick cheney's own mouth or a keyboard or whatever of what had been reported in various ways. there are familiar foes, rivals here. george tenet, colin powell, condoleezza rice. we knew he'd gotten into disputes with them in the past and kind of gives his side of it here. and democrats i think, are going to be somewhat delighted that he's bringing up these old issues like waterboarding and standing by them. his own admission, he feels, polish his image and avoid indictment, i guess, but being firm, he's been firm all along
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on this, and i think going into the presidential campaign, the obama administration can help him. >> happy that he's reviving the aspects of the bush years most folks would like to put behind them. >> speaking of that, nbc news jamie gangel had an exclusive interview with vice president cheney. here she asks him about torture. let's have a listen. >> in your view, we should still be using enhanced interrogation? >> yes. >> no regrets? >> no regrets. >> should we still be waterboarding terror suspects? >> i would strongly support using it again is if circumstances arose where we had a high-value detainee and that was the only way we could get him to talk. >> even though so many people condemned it, people call it torture, you think it should still be a tool? >> yes. >> he never backs off that. we don't expect him to. people know my feelings about this pretty surely, he's a war
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criminal. torture is a crime, and this is a guy who can't travel to europe anymore for fear of ending up in the hague. does he deal with that, do you suppose, in the book? >> well, i can't say how he deals with it in the book in detail. just from reports that have come out. i think in real life he probably is avoiding trips to europe, i imagine, like henry kissinger and others on the lam from that branch of international justice, if you will. as far as back here in the states, he probably hasn't got much to fear. the obama administration made it clear they want to move on. they don't want to go back to the justice department and ge after the bush administration on legal areas like this. but with a campaign coming along, again, you've got to polarize the electorate. nothing he set apparently would offend republicans. it will offend a lot of democrats. will it fire them up to want to
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come out and support obama more? that's the kind of question we're asking now. >> yeah. not that hammer the point at all, any neutral reading of say, the u.n. convention against torture makes it pretty clear that if you support waterboarding and you enact that sort of a policy, you're guilty of a war crime. so that's -- >> you have got people like john mccain and various other folks who are hardly what you would cause wooses on the war issue. john mccain, a former p.o.w. who himself was tortured, and there are just so many arguments against it, and so few actually showing that it works, if you will. but it has really been useful that the public would rather not have our country associated with it. >> jamie gangel asking how president bush my react to the book. listen to this. >> do you think president bush will feel betrayed that you've
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revealed these private conversations? >> i don't think so. >> you don't think so? >> no. >> you have always said that you believe the president to be able to trust the people around him. by revealing these differences, you don't think your betraying that trust? >> no. >> clarence, there does seem to be some sort of a breach between the bush camp and the cheney camp. any insight on that? >> not particularly. i think obviously there are philosophical differences, but i don't think -- from what's been reported so far, anything that would get the bush folks upset. cheney knows a lot of secrets hotter than this, which folks would rather not let out. i don't know that this is going to cause that much upset. we'll see. >> clarence, appreciate you coming by. you can see all of jamie's exclusive interview with former vice president dick cheney on a
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special edition of "dateline monday" august 29 at 10:00 eastern on your local nbc station. up next, both sides now for mitt romney. once again he's found himself on both sides of a couple of issues. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. [ female announcer ] find yourself sometimes cleaning up after your dishcloth?
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back to "hardball." now for the "sideshow." first up, we knew he was bizarre, but this is just too much. as libyan dictator moammar gadhafi fled his compound in anticipation of the arrival of opposition forces, it appears he left behind a very telling photo album filled with snapshots of an unexpected crush. who's the unlucky lady? former secretary of state condoleezza rice. as strange as the finding surely is, warning signs.
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the two did cross paths a few times during rice's stint as secretary of state, and in 2007, gadhafi spoke of her in an interview with al jazeera saying, i admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the arab leaders. leeza, leeza, leeza, i love her very much. that's what we call, "creepy." moving on. seems both sides, the go-to strategy for mitt romney. people do notice, problem is. contradict yourself and later on come up with some kind of hybrid opinion to play to both sides. let's kick it off with the hot topic of global warming. here's what romney had to say back in june. >> the world's getting warmer, i can't prove that, but i believe based on what i believe, the world is getting warmer and number two -- i believe that humans contribute to that. >> okay. so humans at least play a partial role in global warming, until yesterday, that is. let's listen. do i this world's getting hotter?
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yeah. i don't know that, but i think it is. i don't know if it's mostly caused by humans. >> and there goes that one. but we can't leave it at that. how does romney feel about the financial regulations laid out in the dodd-frank bill? here's what the candidate had to say just last month. >> i'll give you more details as the campaign goes on, but this bill was -- was too overreaching and too massive and has contributed to a slowdown. >> well, the details finally came in yesterday as romney spoke with business owners in new hampshire. >> i would like to repeal dodd-frank and -- and -- yes. [ applause ] and recognize some provisions make sense. >> so, should we change around a few things before or after the bill is repealed? this could only get worse if he tries to elaborate.
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up next, governor rick perry surpassed george w. bush in the number of executions he's overseen in texas. were there any mistakes along the way? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
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welcome back to "hardball." rick perry's emergence as a republican front-runner is casting a spotlight on one of the more controversial aspects
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of his time as texas governor. his strong advocacy for the death penalty. it in his 11 years in office he's overseen executions of 234 people. more than any other governor in modern times according to the "washington post." in fairness, the governor served over a decade in the state that leads the nation in executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. critics point out in his entire tenure he has only once recommended a death penalty conviction be changed to life in prison and vetoed a bill that would have precluded mentally retarded people from being executed and strongly opposed a supreme court decision in 2005 that stated people who were juveniles at the time of the crime for being executed. last year in his book "fed up" perry had this to say about critics of the death penalty. if you don't support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don't come to texas. i think the texas tourism board is using that as their slogan now. joining us to debate governor perry's death penalty record,
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the director of the criminal justice foundation a victims' rights advocacy group and jordan a professor of the university of texas school of law. welcome to you both. gentlemen. jordan, a lot of the discomfort about governor perry and the death penalty centers around the case of cameron todd willingham, a man expected i guess in 1991, if i remember correctly, of setting his home on fire and thereby killing his two children. why don't you tell me, what was troubling about this case, from your point of view? >> well, there were really three things that were troubling about governor perry's involvement in the case. first, at the time of willingham's execution, pretty clear the governor's office had clear information the arson evidence was junk science used to convict him.
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an opportunity governor perry had at that time to prevent a wrongful execution. subsequent to that his office hasn't released any information about what was told to perry prior to that execution. so there is some concern that maybe governor perry had been told, you're about to allow for the execution of an incident man, and went ahead anyway. so there's a transparency problem about what information was known to governor perry at the time of the execution. >> i'm sorry. go ahead. >> i was going to say, the third and probably the most visible issue that's arisen with the willingham case, the governor's office to stonewall the investigation into that case. there was a forensic science commission looking into the junk science that was used in the willingham conviction, and at the time, at about the time that a report was going to come out that demonstrated the inaccuracies of the science, governor perry quickly switched the head of that commission and put in a political ally who at that point pretty much delays
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any information so there would be no public accounting or reckoning for what happened in that case. >> ken, are you, too, troubled by the cameron todd willingham case, or do you see it differently? >> i see it differently. actually, mr. perry's entrance into the race may be a good thing, because it will get more people focused on this case, and i think if you looked at the totality of the case, there's plenty of other evidence besides the forensic evidence demonstrating willingham was in fact guilty. as far as stonewalling the investigation, a forensic negotiation exceeding its jurisdiction and it's appropriate they were reined in to what the texas law permits it to do. i don't think that's really a case of stonewalling. >> governor perry does appear to approve of the execution of
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mentally retarded criminals. also juveniles. he thinks the juveniles should be executed as well. does that take him outside of the norm of what most americans think is just? >> no, i don't think so. i mean, the law at the time of these cases was that the minority status of the person as well as any mental deficiencies could be considered by the jury. must be considered by the jury. all the evidence can be presented to the jury and the jury was required to weigh that against the other factors in the case. whether we should have that kind of rule versus a cutoff is an eschew reasonable people can disagree on. i happen to favor the 18-year cutoff myself but don't hold it against mr. berry he takes the other position. it's a reasonable position that if somebody commits a. >> moderator:er when they're 13 years old they should be put to death? >> 13, that is not the law. never was at the time. at issue, we're talking about 17-year-olds for the most part.
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>> 17 would be okay? a reasonable thing? >> if the person can be put to death after this 18th birthday, i don't see a problem if he can be put to death the day before for the same crime under the same circumstances. >> okay. jordan, is it possible governor perry actually presided over an execution when he had reason to believe that the man being killed might, in fact, be innocent? >> i think it's certainly possible. i they we really don't know in part because of person who has that information is the governor and his office, and they've chosen not to disclose whatever memos were prepared in advance of the willingham execution and indeed there are other inmates executed in texas where there were some substantial doubts about whether they had the right guy. >> uh-huh. let me ask you, we only have a little time left here.
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i gather you support the death penalty. how many innocent people should it be permissible to kill in order to exact vengeance against the guilty? >> well, i wouldn't phrase it that way and that's not the -- >> you know it's inevitable that innocent people will be killed because humans are imperfect and so are there systems. >> how many will be kill fundamental we don't execute people. >> you don't know that. >> oh, we knee has happened in fact. >> you don't know that. no, you don't know that. you're saying -- >> people -- it's actually happened on multiple occasions, where people have committed crimes -- >> all right. you're saying a criminal may, in fact, get out of jail and kill, but i'm talking about the state. the state has somebody in their custody. they have complete control over them. they're going to kill them.
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they may be innocent. eventually, somebody is going to be innocent and executed. howe how many is okay to kill them just for vengeance on the guilty? >> it's not for only vengeance. a lot of other reasons including incapacitation. >> how many innocent people is 0 okay to kill? >> i didn't say there was -- >> you're going to kill them as long as you have a death penalty. if you have a death penalty, innocent people will die. >> the other side has been searching for one case and hasn't been able to prove one yell. >> todd willingham is a good case, and there's about 185 cases in the united states. >> they don't -- >> well, i guess you just repealed yourself. thank you. another round in the sarah palin/karl rove smackdown. is this a palin strategy to stay in the headlines or can she simply not resist to fight? this is "hardball" only on msnbc.
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we're back. the he said/she said tussle between karl rove and sarah
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palin is gaining speed. it began with what seemed like a fairly innocent observation by rove on saturday.
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we're back. the he said/she said tussle between karl rove and sarah palin is gaining speed. it began with what seemed like a fairly innocent observation by rove on saturday. >> she has a schedule next week that looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity.
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and then this video she released yesterday, you know, she made a surprise appearance at the iowa state fair and now she released a video saying see you september 3rd. you know, look, either this is her last chance. she either gets in or gets out after this visit next week. i think she gets in. >> on monday palin's pack put out a statement blasting rove that reads, any professional pundit claiming to have inside information regarding governor palin's personal decision is not only wrong but their comments are specifically intended to mislead the american public. and last night on fox, rove hit back, where it hurts. palin's ego. >> look, if she doesn't want to be speculated about as a potential presidential candidate, there's an easy way to end speculation. simply say, i'm not running. a sign of an enormous thin skin. if we speculate about her she gets upset. if we get -- i suspect she'd be upset and try to find us a way to speculate about her. >> wouldn't enjoy being called
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enormous. i can tell you that. welcome to you both. nia, why should sarah palin be upset about people speculating about her president's ambitions? isn't that what she wants? >> by all accounts, exactly what she wants. look at the iowa commercial, slickly produced. there in the run-ups to the straw poll, this is what she needs. continued speculation whether or not she's going to run to keep her interest -- interest in the her around and relevant. we remember in 2009, she could, course, we remember in 2009 she could with a single facebook post or a tweet really dominate national discussion and really frame a debate. we remember her talking about death panels, so much so that the president had to respond to it. that has really changed over the last two years because have you now a field of republican hopefuls who really dominate the conversation.
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so i do think this is her pitch to try to remain relevant. we'll see what she does in iowa in september. but of course i think one of the things that's happening is that in september. but of course i think one of the things that's happening is that time is running short. she is running against some deadlines where she would have to essentially say she's going to do this thing or not. >> that's a good question. sam, when is too late -- when is late too late to get into a presidential race? she is running out of time here, isn't she? >> you would say that there was an opening a couple of weeks ago. and then rick perry sort of galloped into the field and immediately became the front-runner and i think sucked up a lot of oxygen that had sarah palin jumped in she would have taken. so i think karl rove is right here. the time frame is narrowing for her to actually make an entrance. but he's also right in the sense that this type of speculation is what she thrives on. she sells books off this stuff. she gets continued access to any meat pie she wants off this stuff. for her to play the victim card
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here, which is something she has done frequently in the past, is ironic. but with regards to the calendar, you know, we are actually running into some sort of time period here, an actual election in iowa, will happen either in late december or potentially late january or early february. so it's time to start campaigning. >> mia, this bad blood between rove and palin, is this sort of just a stand-in for the rift in the republican party between the tea party and the old establishment republicans? >> in some ways, it is. and you'll see that i think play out a lot with perry and romney. you have seen it already, when he talks about private sector experience, and he says, romney has had this private sector experience at bain capital, but i've had it on the family farm. so perry will try to make it seem like that romney is like the john kerry of the republican party and out of touch elitist. so this is a real rift. and one of the things with the last election you saw a real rift, almost a 50/50 split
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between the folks in terms of who they voted for, a split between lower educated or republicans more church-goers, high school graduates, and a split between college graduates. i think we'll see this play out, and that obviously palin is playing into here with her fight with rove. >> and, sam, we just have a little bit of time left here. but it seems to me that the polls are not really running with sarah palin at this point. most people seem to be kind of over her. >> yeah. and i think that's part of the problem, is that she doesn't generate the type of hype she once did. where she was the voice of the anti-obama crowd in the past, now there's a bunch of people to fill that void. one thing to consider with karl rove's element here, you know, he still is very much protecting the party that he built, as well as the bush legacy. and a huge swath of the tea party faction stakes claim to its independence from the bush administration, and openly
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spending. and i think rove looat that and says the eight years i was there wasn't that bad. and he needs to defend it. and so there's an open rift between him and palin and also between him in perry. he said, well, bush went to yale, and i went to texas a&m. that's a big distinction there. >> i have always thought that sarah palin was a bit like newt gingrich, kind of running for the attention and the celebrity thing. we have to leave it there, guys. thank you as always. when we return, let me finish with what i really think about mitt romney. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. let me finish tonight with ♪ ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] something unexpected to the world of multigrain... taste. ♪ delicious pringles multigrain. with a variety of flavors, multigrain pops with pringles.
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let me finish tonight with mitt romney. the former republican front-runner has changed his mind again. that might not make headlines above the fold. romney switches his opinions more often than newt gingrich swaps wives. romney seems to treat his own beliefs like clothing purchased at nordstrom's. he tries them on for a while. then if somebody complains that he doesn't look good in green, he trades them in for something new. this is a guy after all who pretends not to approve of his own health care policy. back in june, that's june of this year, romney seemed to accept, if only in a hazy noncommittal kind of way, the overwhelming scientific consensus that the laws of physics still apply here on planet earth. that if you pump heat trapping gases into our atmosphere, they will tend to trap heat. i believe the world is getting
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hotter, and i believe that humans have contributed to that. so said romney way back in the misty before time 2 had 1/2 months ago. since then, he has discovered that science, reason, even the law of specifics has no current place at the republican table, with the exception of jon huntsman, who seems driven by either self respect or a keen urge to commit political suicide. today's ambitious republicans tend so see facts as annoying obstacles blocking the view of their more colorful fantasies. we don't need no stinking science. take your reality-based community and shove it. so romney, sensing the danger posed by his tepid embrace of reality, is once again calling on his greatest talent, vagueness.

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